Directing The Documentary

Short course


The good news is that we live in a time when it's incredibly easy to just go out and shoot a documentary. The bad news is that most peoples' efforts are unwatchable and unsellable.


On this intensive 5 day course you will learn how to develop a documentary idea and turn it into a finished film that an audience will want to see.


The first part of each morning will be spent developing the participants' own documentary ideas. Then for the rest of each day the 5 aspects of directing a documentary will be explored. By the end of the course you will be ready to go out and shoot your film.


Day 1 - Developing Your Idea - How you can check whether your idea is worth turning into a documentary film and ways to develop your idea into something an audience will happily pay money to see.

Day 2 - Interview Style & Technique - Who you decide to appear in your film and how you choose them. You will also look at great interview technique and 5 serious mistakes to avoid.

Day 3 - Camera, Lights & Style - How you translate your idea into the language of film; Do you want to make a serious subject funny or a light subject serious? And how to decide an appropriate camera and lighting style. You will also discover ways to reveal truth on camera.

Day 4 - Editing & Sound - Creating drama and emotion through editing; The best way to use sound and music to express your vision as a director

Day 5 - Sell Your Documentary - Getting your film made on all budgets and making sure it secures an audience. How to earn a living as a documentary filmmaker.

In order to make the course most beneficial please come armed with a couple of your own ideas that you can work on throughout the week!

"I learned more over 3 sessions with Col than I did over my entire Documentary MA."
"The knowledge I have now can't be compared to any other course."
"Col's enthusiasm and experience was invaluable in helping to move my documentary development process forward."
"Within an hour of working with Col I felt a million times better, my ideas were transformed."

Freelance Rate: £785

Corporate Rate: £1400

How to apply

Application deadline:

If you experience any problems making your application please contact us 01494 677 903

Face-to-face delivery, subject to government guidelines allowing, with COVID-19 protocols in place  In the event that in-person training is not possible we will adapt the content for online delivery

Begin your application